Why Bucky is About My Work

Not that it has much to do with fine silver adornment or classes….? AND I bought a bunny last Sunday.  You see, there was this petting zoo at Crafted and the young lady proprietor had many bunnies, including a few babies, and well I asked if any were for sale, assuming she’d say no . . . and she in fact said yes. The rest is future. We are now the proud caretakers of a Lion Head baby rabbit and he is called Bucky Barnes (Cpt. America’s sidekick).  Say Hi Bucky:

Based on the idea that no action is really random, I got to thinking . . . about my career in fine silver and Bucky was just the right teacher. I’ve wanted a bunny for a long time and I used lots of reasons and excuses for why I did not own one – three dogs and a cat being top on the list of ‘OooooH NO, we are not getting a bunny’.  Bucky has not met the dogs yet and the cat is not sure what to do, however, he has become a delightful, if not distracting, addition to the Phoenix Zoo.  I am so, so happy I took the plunge.

Before entering the world of metal clay, I did a lot of research on jewelry making. After deciding on metal clay as my medium, I bought some clay and gear and stared at it for a long time. I was afraid of it, of doing it wrong, setting my house on fire . . . that sort of thing – my daughter was the first member of the Phoenix Magyk team to roll out a piece.  It took a week for me to think it was dry enough, and gather my wits to use the torch to fire it. Once I took the plunge, it’s been a ride full of all-a-rounds.

My work has been enriching and empowering – it is my meditation, my contribution to the world and my demonstration to others of possibility.

Nothing would have happened if I just kept staring at it. Nothing would have happened if I kept telling myself, ‘I am not artistic’, or ‘that it was too expensive’ or ‘it’s too hard’, or ‘I have to kiln fire everything’ or . . . or . . . or.

I am primarily sell taught and did not take a class until 2009.  By then I’d taught a few classes, and done my first show :)  The class I took was the Rio Grande Certification class. Had I not been working with the material for over a year, I would have run from that first class, screaming – 7 projects in three days.

Why am I telling you all this? Because I have a sense that there are a bunch of artists out there not taking the plunge and you tell yourself all kinds of *things* that keep you from moving forward.

Stop doing that. If you have never touched the material, you are robbing yourself of the opportunity to experience a fabulous medium that is easier to use than you think.  If you’ve been working with the material and have not taken advantage of an advanced class . . . you are robbing yourself of an opportunity to boost your skill set and confidence.

What are some pros of taking a class?

  • It’s life affirming to be creative.
  • You’ll discover that you are more artistic than you thought.
  • You broaden your community of like-minded people, including introverts like me.
  • You will feel energized by risk taking and experimentation.
  • You get to light something on fire.
  • You get to tell your friends and loved ones what kind of fun you are having.
  • You can make gifts galore and not feel compelled to buy an expensive fine silver piece from me.
  • You’ll learn the fine art of ‘happy accident’.
  • You will understand that a ‘mistake’ is not permanent.
  • You will laugh and be relaxed.

Cons of taking a metal clay class?

  • The drive/time? It might be a day trip.  What is it worth to have fun for a few hours?  To gain new skill? To consider possibility? To make something yourself?
  • It’s expensive. You might have to buy some tools/clay. I can walk you through that. It’s easier than you think. I also teach ‘clay conservation’ projects like hollow forms, and mixed media applications.  Additionally, if you finally take the plunge and do the Level 1 training, you’ll get a discount form many of the suppliers.
  • There’s no place to work in my house. Do you have a desk/dining room table/card table? That’s all the space you need to work in really. We can talk about pet hair later :)
  • You are terrified of a torch. I know right?!?! Just so we are clear, it is a small “micro torch”.  In all of my intro classes, I teach you how to use one and I SWEAR it’s way safer and easier than you might think.
  • You are feeling just plain scared. Ummmm do it anyway.  The worst thing that can happen, IMHO, is you will have used up some hours of time, you can’t get back, used up some gas, put some wear and tear on your tires AND in any class, you’ll walk away with at least one new adornment that is resonant to you.

Metal-Clay-DemoReady to plunge?

Classes coming up:

May 3 and 4Level 1 Certification Training. 4 pieces in two days. Boost your skill set and confidence level.  The price of the class includes a tool kit and all the clay you need for the projects. It is a lot of fun and after completion you get a discount on future purchases form PMC Connection and other distributors. This is a class for the artist who has worked with the material for at least six months/has taken a class of some sort. If you are someone considering teaching, this is also an excellent boost to curriculum planing and understanding class management. You can sign up here: http://pmcconnection.com/education/class_new?class_id=45

May 6, 13 & 20Metal Alchemy – Introduction to Metal Clay. This is a 3 week, intensive introduction to the material. There is a lot of time to consider design, play with the material and perhaps create more than one piece. In week one, I talk A LOT, to give you a broad amount of information AND to get your gears going. Week 2, we hit the mat rolling and implement what we are learning, by doing.  Week 3 is completion of pieces and a time for additional questions and learning. Class takes place at Glendale Community College:
https://cse.glendale.edu/CourseStatus.awp?&course=14SCA037

May 10, 17, & 24 Secret Spaces. A three week intensive on how to make a large container.  In week 1 we wrap an armature in clay to begin forming the container. Week two, we actually remove the armature and green-ware finish the piece, I’ll take it home and kiln fire it. Week three – brush and patina if desired. In the third week I will also give instruction on how to make a box with a hinged lid. This class requires that you come with at lease 45 grams of PMC+.  I will have other tools and materials. This class takes place at Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles. You can sign up today using the link below. $100 covers tuition, handouts and additional materials. https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=YPXW5YLKQNDTC

May 25 Mini-Intro to Metal Clay. This is a 3 hour fast paced, introduction. It’s $85 for three hours. This includes clay, a gemstone, a handout, use of tools and extras like paste, syringe and paper clays.  I walk you through rolling it out, texture, cutting, stone setting, firing and finishing. You can sign up today, using this link. https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=PL3XHCY3RWXYS

May 31 Metal Alchemy – Introduction to Metal Clay.  This is all day introduction class that takes place at the Skirball Cultural Center. I do this as a representative of Otis College of Art and Design. This is a condensed version of a three week version and an extended version of the mini-intro that takes place at Crafted. You can sign-up here: http://www.otis.edu/ce-course?dsc=11&crs=343

Questions? Send me an email . . . put a comment on this page, I realy do pay attention.

Much love and light,

Delia

 

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FAQs About Phoenix Magyk

PsatchelOver the years, I have shared some of these answers, and it’s about time they were in one place – right?!?!. They are questions I hear often. Feel free to ask more.

Are you from Phoenix, Arizona?

Nope. Phoenix is actually a nickname and my first business incarnation was Phoenix Rizing. I got tired of “rising”, so I became Phoenix Designs and eventually thought that that was boring and not in alignment with what I really do – hence the change, two years ago, to Phoenix Magyk – my name + what I create :)

What does “Magyk” mean, then?

Magyk is anything and everything we have intended.  It is that energy of our intentions, manifest in action, whether negative or positive, that has a result.

Recently, a friend put it this way: “When you were a child and you scrapped your knee and your loved one bent down, placed a band-aid on the scrape and kissed the boo-boo – you felt better – that’s Magyk.” -Susanna

Your loved one intended for you to feel better, with all the love in his/her heart.  With that one gesture, intended with so much love – it’s as if you were touched with a magic wand – and that my friends is serious, intended, energy in motion, energy manifest – MAGYK!

Why do you spell it that way?

Because is it one of the oldest forms of spelling the word. This spelling is one variation from Middle English – 1100 to 1500 BCE – a time frame that resonates for me – Magyk is as old as time itself.

What does “Magyk” have to do with Jewelry?

Ummmmm Just about everything? LOL When I create a piece, it is done with an intention. My intention is more specific when the piece is a custom order and when making pieces for the store, my intentions are more general.

What is a Mage?

A Mage is a person who practices from many spiritual traditions – pulling from several, according to what works for the practitioner.  A teacher I once had explained it to me this way:

“Being a Mage, means having no home [religion]. You are tolerant and respectful of all faiths and practices and you adopt and make use of the best practices for your evolution into the person you want to be.  This evolution will also allow you to help many because you are not trapped by any one belief – you entertain all possibility without judgment”. -Joe

Sounds super heavy right?.

Being a Mage is like being a member of the Universalist Church – no particular slant, just belief and faith in things I am able to tap into.

Are you evil?

Only when I haven’t had enough sleep, coffee, or food :)

Do you have a wand?

I do.  As a matter of fact, I have several.  When I am admonishing my children for something, It is usually my finger.  When I am wondering about the house, it’s usually a pencil or a pen.  When I am making things, it is usually a pin tool.  A “wand” is a physical tool to direct intention :)

Why do you use divination tools like Tarot and Runes?

Because they are fun and colorful AND like a wand, the physical tools I use to discover and understand energies.

I have a good friend who is so good at ‘listening’ to his senses and intuition that he can hear the guidance it provides him.  I cannot . . . yet.  The cards, stones, or other tools I use allow me to translate energies I feel in a more clear way, just as my physical tools help me shape my final pieces.

I do not use any tool to ‘divine’ a future. I don’t believe in fate and I believe that if you know your potential future, you have already changed it, and that you will likely create a lot of anxiety over something that hasn’t happened yet. :)

Divination tools are great translation devices of your subconscious – a great examination of what you might be drawing to you.

What do you mean when you say you are Intuitive and an Empath?

I happen to feel that these two things go together.

Have you ever had a weird feeling that something was awry with someone close to you . . . and when you talked to him/her you found out that in fact he/she was experiencing a challenging time?  That’s being intuitive; it’s an energy connection we have with others, and it is most strong with people we really care about.  Many of us have dismissed these senses – I did for many years, fearing I was losing my marbles.  Nowadays, I feel confident. My willingness to tap in, helps me design the perfect piece for clients.

Have you ever been around someone who is throwing up and your own gag reflex goes into high gear? LOL That’s what being an Empath is like, for me.  It’s the ability to be empathetic to the 100th power. I actually feel what others feel. It was, for many years, REALLY confusing and difficult for me.  I would encounter an angry person, hug them, and feel instantly angry for no particular reason. I spent a lot of time trying to discover why I felt so bad after these encounters.  One day, someone told me what might be going on and it all made sense.

Listening to my Intuition and examining my empathy through awareness of what is happening in my present, gives me unique skill I am delighted to share with others.

Are you a Witch?

Nope, but I know a few and I love them and that is how they identify themselves, like I call myself a Mage and others call themselves Catholic.

Do you ‘do’ RITUALS?

Yes, every morning I get up…. go to the bathroom, get some coffee, grab my phone, take the dogs out, and look at Facebook while I wait for the pups to do their thing :)

That, my Lovelies, is a “ritual”, and I have many I might do in a day. How about you? Rituals are how I start the day, recenter myself during the day and wind down for bed – bathroom; brush teeth; change into jammies.

If you wanna know weather I chant, light magyk candles, dance naked under the moonlight, have a cauldron, drink blood, or play with knives . . . ? ummm no – at least to some of those, see below.

I sometimes chant to myself, “Puppies and flowers, bubbles and rainbows” when I am especially stressed – it distracts my conscious mind.

I do, also, from time to time create ‘energy fields’ around me to help me center and avoid distractions. In some paths, this is called, “casting a circle”.

I light candles as a calming action if I take a bath, which I rarely have time for.  I also light candles if my house stinks.

There are techniques for using candles to create/manifest intention. Have you ever written down a wish/intention/prayer on a piece of paper, and after it came to be, you tossed the paper?  “Candle Magyk” works similarly – and I do not do that.

No one would want to see me dancing naked and I see no point in it.

I own a small cauldron that I thought looked really cool that holds small jewelry.

Absolutely I play with knives – well, sharp scalpel blades in my work with metal clay :)

I believe in 21st century magyk.  The capes, cauldrons, wands and such were tools and adornment of identification that are no longer necessary to participate and practice magyk.

Can you read minds?

Thank the Ancients – NO!

Mayhaps this answered some of your burning questions – pun intended.  LOL If not, feel free to ask. What is really important for you to know is that I won’t hex you or your loved ones.  What I will do, is intend and create the best piece possible for you . . . that in a metal clay class, I see you as an artist trying out a new medium and I intend for you to have fun . . . and this is all my kind of Magyk.

Much Love and Light.

Delia

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History of Adornment – Part 5

It looks like Tuesdays will be a better day for me than Mondays ☺

I could write much more on the facts, however, I’ve been itchy to get to this part. Adornment of meaning is what resonates for me and I suspect, on some level, for many, many people. And bear with me because my heart and soul connection to this is rattling off ideas, faster than I can type – if it seems a bit lacking in flow and cohesion, I apologize ☺

Adornment of all kinds has been worn ‘in meaning’, as I see it, for centuries. Jewelry adornment was worn to indicate social status and leadership roles in many cultures from early tribes to the Queen of today. In these modern times we can identify a persons ‘tribe’ by a type of symbol they might wear and this sort of adornment either puts us at ease or wards us off – thereby creating more community or discreating community (yes, I made up that word).

I speculate that adornment of all kinds brought recognition of sameness. With the expansive planet – tribes/groups, being so far apart from each other, as migrations occurred, how else might they have understood that members of a group were not to be feared . . . or to be feared.

The Runes of the ancient Germanic peoples, were the evolution of the Italic alphabet. They came to be used as ways of communication. The understanding of Runes in a divinitory way, is a source of a lot of study and a great deal of speculation. What has become an indisputable truth, is, that the symbolic language had meaning and still does. I would further suggest, that Runes were symbolic of communities. Vikings for instance, traveled a great deal, right?! So if you met a Viking, the Runic symbols they wore or displayed on their ships/weapons would give you an indication of weather they were cool Vikings to hang out with. The Rune stones found across the lands in that part of the world, tell you the stories of adventures and the people who took those adventures.

Runes source:http://www.dragonoak.com/runes/Honey-Locust-Elder-Futhark-Rune-Set.html

Runes
source:
http://www.dragonoak.com/runes/Honey-
Locust-Elder-Futhark-Rune-Set.html

Today, as with the work I do in fine silver, Runic ‘letters’ demonstrate a meaning that has been evolved to carry similar meaning from the ancient time period. For example, the Elder Futhark Rune, Uruz, means strength. In the ancient time period, Uruz, which literally means Aurochs – a now extinct wild ox – symbolically represented strength – it’s an ox . . . makes sense.

I don’t use Runes for divination – I don’t believe in divination – which is a whole ‘nother story’. I do believe in the strength of a big ‘ol ox and I do believe that the Rune, Uruz, worn as a talisman, helps us to stand firm in our convictions and walk through challenges, drawing on inner strength.

It was believed that if you wore the Evil Eye – you could ward off evil. In case you did not know this, the concept of the Evil Eye spans *all* cultures in the ancient world. Check out this Wikipedia bit I found. I actually didn’t realize how expansive the idea was and still is. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evil_eye.

Modern Evil Eye Jewelry source: http://www.eartisans.net/products/protection-from-the-evil-eye-necklace

Modern Evil Eye Jewelry
source: http://www.eartisans.net/products/protection-from-the-evil-eye-necklace

Imagine for a moment, what would happen if you encountered a person wearing an Evil Eye symbol. Would you feel at ease? Of would you run? ☺

I don’t wear an Evil Eye talisman, it isn’t my thing. and I do know, that I would not run. I would mention and make an effort to strike up conversation, because I would sense, that the person wearing the piece has a similar belief as me – adornment has meaning and value to us. It can create community. It is on our money – considered the “All Seeing Eye”. :)

In Greek societies, adornment connected to the gods and goddesses were seen frequently. Greek key jewelry called “Meandros,” was a traditional symbol dating back to ancient Hellenic times and represents eternity and timelessness. (1) It can be seen in architecture of the time as well. An entire community of peoples were connected to this symbology.

Greek Architecture with Greek 'key'

Greek Architecture with Greek ‘key’

I happen to think that the original square symbol, evolved to what many of us know to be the infinity spiral.

Modern ring with Meandros design

Modern ring with Meandros design

Much of ancient Greek adornment was seen not only as an indicator of slave/ royalty, but also as symbols of good luck, warding off the Evil Eye and homage to the beliefs of the time. There was connectedness in those beliefs and later divisiveness.

The Egyptians, as I shared in series post #3, similarly to the Greeks, created adornment steeped in traditions and beliefs of the time and homage to their gods and goddesses.

The Cartouche, similar to Runes is a series of pictures that represent words and had, a great deal of meaning for royalty of the time. There were other highly ornamental pieces worn by the upper classes.

Among the bracelets, anklets, and beaded adornment, the Ankh, a piece symbolizing “life”, was worn by many ancient Egyptians – across the board,

Evil Eye on papyrus

Evil Eye on papyrus

irrespective of station in life.  The Egyptians also subscribed to a belief in the Evil Eye.

The flow has stopped, and so I will wrap this up. A five part series seems good ☺

Just as we wear particular clothing, or style our hair in a particular way; or have a tattoo (or not) – adornments are symbolic of who we are and what is important to us. They frequently indicate what groups we hang out in.

Additionally, without question, the symbols we wear tell others about us – a wedding ring, a religious symbol – and they often act as talisman of our truth and a reminder to us of the path we are on in our life. They are also beacons to our community . . . a way of connecting to the like minded in our life.

You’d think I’d have mentioned more about the work I do and why I created this series . . . in each of the series posts. AND, I got pretty wrapped up in just the topic. It’s fascinating to me.

I create Resonant Jewelry, in part, because this history is still alive today. People every where, still wear Evil Eye pieces; Ankhs (my dad had one); Greek Meandros; Runes; religious symbols; Kanji. [The last two I have not addressed and I will in future posts.] People every where still need, or require, or desire a piece of meaning. It has value.

So – what do you want to say? What talisman do you need in your life? If you have not perused the site – do. You’ll learn more about me, and what I do. Not everything I make is so serious either – sometimes magyk is downright whimsical. I make delicate fine silver bows, Whimsical Rings and other delightful treasures.

In the mean time, lets have a discussion. Feel free to share your thoughts on the history of adornment and it’s meanings today and how it fits in your life.

Much Love and light,
Delia
– which is Greek, the name derived from Delos a Greek Island. Learn more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delos#History

(1) http://www.ehow.com/about_5200428_greek-jewelry-information.html#ixzz2yyoaCsnK

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History of Adornment -Part 5?

Not today, Lovers of Lovelies. :(

I’ve been unwell the last couple of days and so you’ll have to tune in next week. *lessons in writing a blog post early* My apologies.

Here is a tidbit to spark your interest.

viking-jewelry-1

A copper alloy piece of jewelry found at a Viking-age site in Denmark shows an animal figure with a beadlike chain around its neck.
Credit: Ole Kastholm/Roskilde Museum
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/24/viking-jewelry-found-denmark-farm_n_3645016.html

Much love and light!

Delia

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History of Adornment – Part 4

21st Century Alchemy - When sneezing attack happens

21st Century Alchemy – When sneezing attack happens

You have to read aaaalllll the way to the end to understand the significance of the intro photo.

 

 

 

China!!  I’m so excited!

ancientheaddress

http://www.trocadero.com/stores/ESHYIceladonArt/items/787510/item787510.html

Jewelry in Asian countries, such as China, has a history of about 5,000 years old and it was very much a part of their culture.  Jewelry was worn by both sexes to demonstrate status of nobility and wealth. Women wore an assortment of jeweled adornment, which might have included an ornate headdress. The most common piece of jewelry worn by the Chinese were earring(s), worn by both men and women. I found mostly pics of headdresses.

Adornments were often placed in the graves of the dead upon burial. Rulers and high officials were buried with jade items to “protect” them in the afterlife.

In China, jewelry was preferred in silver as compared to gold and often decorated with blue color – glass enameling.  As I recently learned in some history study with my daughter, the Chinese had vast stores of silver and it was a primary metal of trade and highly prized at the time. When you consider the time frame, also, it was not sterling, it was pure or fine silver – Han dynasty (206 BC-220 AD). China’s use of silver as a medium of exchange is reflected in the name for bank “銀行” (literally “silver house” or “silver office”) and for the precious metal and jewel dealer “銀樓” (literally “silver building” or “silver shop”). (1)

The most prized of materials used in Chinese jewelry was jade. Considered not only beautiful, but also tough, jade was often used as a talisman to protect the wearer from evil and as a symbol that prominently indicated the morality of the adorned. It was and still is a sign of luck and when received as a gift, ought to be considered with a great deal of respect.

I want you to take a look at this site: http://primaltrek.com/loopcharms.html.  It is an excellent article on ancient Chinese charms and there is simply not enough time in my life to reframe it for you . . . it is just that delightful.

Additionally, please review this blog.  Stunning pictures and a stunning trip for the blogger: http://www.theglamourai.com/2013/10/historic-adornment.html

So I realize I am kinda phoning it in today :).  I’m having the worse sneezing attack right now and it’s super hard to type. If you haven’t guessed already, I am researching on the go and sharing my discoveries.

I close with this.  For many years I’ve come to see the Chinese culture as something filled with plastic things and melamine in food.  I have known in the back of my mind, that, the ancient people of Asia gifted us with incredible art and adornment, – I use Chops in my work sometimes –  and yet that plastic stuff kept popping up. And the judgment that went with it.  It’s been a lovely journey in revisiting a culture that really delights me in so many ways.  I find fireworks to be a special kind of bling. May you find some of the same delight.

Much love and light,

Delia

OH!  And go make something, it will feel good.

Sources:

(1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silver_standard#China

http://jewelsnext.com/blog/?p=84

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History of Adornment – Part 3

Adornment in the jewelry sense, has an interesting history right?!?! It is obvious that early peoples used what was available to them . . . pretty creative . . . super creative, when you think about it. Shells and eggs as beads, plants/berries and other materials of the land as colorants . . . I’m a bit riveted myself.

I changed my mind again. I hope this won’t be confusing. ☺ I want to talk about the Greeks first. I am part Greek, so it works for me and the history is rich with interest.

There have been finds as old and 1600 BC in Greece. They had begun to use “gold”* and gems. It is amazing when I consider how mining is done now and what it must have been like then. I’m not a history major, however, I feel certain there was less digging then. As sources were used up, digging had to occur. In the research I’ve done so far, there is little mention of how the materials were obtained. Honestly, I get this picture of gems and metals just laying around. *Another thing that is interesting, they did not always use pure gold – it was often what is called “electrum” which is a combination of gold and silver with traces of copper and other metals.

By 300 BC – and just so we are clear 1600 BC is earlier than 300 BC – I had to type that for my dyslexic self ☺ So, by 300 BC the Greeks were using pearls, amethyst and emeralds. Gotta love my people for using my three favorite things.

There have also been finds of cameos, from Agates – which if you know anything about agate, it is simply not the easiest thing to carve with a stick or a rock – so how did they do that?

As with many cultures, we will come to see, the people of ancient Greece did not wear jewelry adornment everyday. It wasn’t practical for daily fetching of water, and foraging for foods. Now, even when I look and study history, I still take it for granted that I have a solid roof over my head and there is a grocery store not far away.

So jewelry was worn for special events AND as a sign of social status. So if you were in charge and did not have to chop wood and carry water, you probably had a chance to wear your bling more often.

More than the display of wealth or social standing, there were a great deal of pieces that were representative of the Greek Gods and Goddesses. Just as in these modern times, there are those who wear religiously themed jewelry, the Greeks wore that which represented their beliefs. In that time adornment also had power to fend off the Evil Eye. It also was a sign of the Seer’ or Shaman.

There are Roman and Asian influences seen in early Greek jewelry work, which in the case of the Roman influences, has everything to do with who beat up who. Asian influence would most likely come from trading. It is, however believed that finds from Olbia of “polychrome” butterflies are indigenous design. Olbia is now in modern times an Italian city or “commune”.

What is “polychrome” you ask? It is the technique of creating multi-color objects/architecture. In the case of buildings for example, it was and still is, the use of different colored bricks or stone . . . paint and metals. In jewelry, it is the use of stones, mixed-metals and in some cases pigments of some type and glass . . . melted glass . . . known today as enameling. This bit of delightful knowledge is a perfect segue into Egyptian adornment.

Ancient Egyptians. The first finds of more advanced jewelry are about 3000 – 5000 years old. Earlier finds are of the same type all early peoples played with: shells, eggs, branches and the like.

With more knowledge, awareness and finds of gold and gems, the work became more advanced to include those elements. They used primarily gold, preferring the luxury and look to that, over other metals. Copper and clay pieces were made for the less wealthy.

We do see a lot of gems and color (with glass usually)! Color was significant in it’s meaning. For example, green was a color used to indicate fertility. I have this picture of women looking for husbands, wearing all kinds of green adornment.☺ Turquoise, lapis lazuli and feldspar symbolized good luck, while amethysts represented happiness. Today, amethyst is more a stone of high spirituality – which really is happiness right?!?!

Like the Greek, adornment was used in amulet form to ward off the Evil Eye.  Tutankhamun’s mask demonstrates the sophistication of jewelry making. The facial likeness, created in gold complimented with obsidian and quartz for the eyes, created, to be sure his soul was acknowledged and could, at some point return to the body.

Overall most design is considered Phoenician is style. Phoenician is a society understanding. It is the state-level form of government and marks a period of culture.

What we are most used to from the Ancient Egyptian artisans are: scarab pieces, the Ankh, Cartouches and of course the masks for mummies program ☺. I mean no irreverence, I am truly fascinated by this idea.

As I study this along with you, it is evident to me that ancient cultures had traditions of adornment steeped in belief and meaning and the demonstration of such in the jewelry they made and wore.  There is strong indication as people of the world evolved, so did their ideas and the brilliant designs formed, for us to later study and consider.

I’m having a really great time with this series . . . you? I’m excited to bring you part-4, next week with further examination of adornment and it’s meaning . . . it’s right up my alley.

"Hercules Knot" 698px-Ancient_Greek_jewelry_Pontika_(Ukraina)_300_bC

“Hercules Knot”
698px-Ancient_
Greek_jewelry_Pontika_
(Ukraina)_300_bC

 

 

 

 

698px-Ancient_Greek_jewelry_Pontika_(Ukraina)_300_bC

698px-Ancient_Greek_
jewelry_
Pontika_
(Ukraina)_300_bC

Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewellery
http://traveltips.usatoday.com/ancient-egypts-jewelry-pyramids-mummies-3857.html

Now – go make something!  You know you want to. Much love and light,  Delia

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History of Adornment – Part 2

Based on archeological findings and speculation it’s believed that the first signs of jewelry adornment were over 100,000 years old – the beads of the mud snail. I don’t think there is any way to really know how these ‘beads” may have been used. No Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook then :)

And yet, dating back 75,000 years, those mud snail beads were found in Africa. In Kenya, beads made from ostrich egg shells have been dated to approximately 40,000 years ago.

Early modern humans, aka Cro-Magnons had necklaces and bracelets of bone, teeth, and stone hung on pieces of perhaps animal sinew. In some cases, these pieces had shell or mother-of-pearl on them. In southern Russia, bracelets made of carved mammoth tusk have been found. The Venus of Hohle Fels, shows that it was perhaps intended to be worn as a pendant. The artifact is dated to be between 35,000 and 40,000 years old.

“The figurine was sculpted from a woolly mammoth tusk and had broken into fragments, of which six have been recovered, with the left arm and shoulder still missing. In place of the head, the figurine — which probably took “tens if not hundreds of hours” to carve [5] — has a perforated protrusion, which may have allowed its owner to wear it as an amulet.” (1)

I feel certain that if one studies a great deal of history, these speculations of what these things were, make a lot of sense. Keep in mind that any idea that an artifact is a “bracelet” is based on what a person understands a bracelet to be in his/her present time. It’s certain interesting to consider that ancient peoples wore jewelry. For me, the real question is why? I go back to my theory that it said something about the hierarchy of the group. But that’s just me.

SUPER FASCINATING!  In October of 2012 researchers with the Museum of Ancient History in Lower Austria found a grave of a female jewelry worker – WHAT? The artifacts recovered include tools and have been dated to 2800 years before the birth of Christ. For a very long time, historians have believed the craft of jewelry making was a male-only craft. (2)

I’ve gotten very excited about Egyptian adornment. There is A LOT to share about color and metals and gemstones :). I understand I promised a word about Chinese Finger Guards . . . it’s coming, I promise.

As we progress in this journey of adornment and it’s meanings, things will become more clear – we will have some concrete evidence. AND why do you think early man/woman wore any adornment? What was it about Ostrich egg shells and mud snails, that was so attractive?

ostrich

Ostrich Beads

330px-Venus-of-Schelklingen

Venus-of-Schelklingen

cixi

Chinese Finger Guards

Til next week . . .  go make something now – even if it’s trouble :)

(1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venus_of_Hohle_Fels

(2) http://austrianindependent.com/news/General_News/2012-10-03/12320/Cavewoman_jeweller_rewrites_gender_history

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History of Adornment

One of at least a 5 Part Series

As defined in a dictionary:  noun 1. something that adds attractiveness; ornament; accessory: the adornments and furnishings of a room. 2.ornamentation; embellishment: personal adornment.  (1)

This too:  “An adornment is generally an accessory or ornament worn to enhance the beauty or status of the wearer. They are often worn to embellish, enhance, or distinguish the wearer, and to define cultural, social, or religious status within a specific community. When worn to show economic status, the items are often either rare or prohibitively expensive to others. Adornments are usually colourful, and worn to attract attention.

They have a long history, around the world, from feathers or bone, to modern accessories, such as jewellery.Items of adornment are also used by warriors, and by other members of the military to show rank or achievement.(2)

When you think about adornment, how do you think of it? Does it include clothing, jewelry, wall art, body art . . . how you furnish your home . . . the make-up you wear/don’t wear . . . have you put eyelashes on your car headlights?

I think of it, as all of that. It’s very broad. And in this, the 21 Century, it also includes young men with their pants around their ankles :)

Adornment ‘speaks’. It communicates to the observer and it communicates for the wearer/displayer (yes, I think I made up that word, displayer).

As broad as the topic is, I’m going to stick with adornment as it relates to jewelry (and piercing in the traditional earring sense).  It is after all what I do – create wearable art jewelry – so I will stick to what I know.

100,000 Year Old History – Who Knew?

Beads made from Nassarius gibbosulus shells may be the earliest known forms of personal jewelry.  The Nassarius is a marine creature, commonly known as a “mud snail” here in the US.

Despite my aversion to the idea of wearing the shell of a “mud snail” I was intrigued.

Two shell beads found in Skhul Cave on the slopes of Mount Carmel, Israel are thought to be 100,000 years old More shells, some with red ochre, have been recovered from the Aterian levels at Grotte des Pigeons, Taforalt, Morocco; these Nassarius gibbosulus beads have been dated to about 82,000 years ago. You can learn more using the link referenced at (3).

 MudSnailjewelry

So I wonder . . . did the ancient people that wore these, do so to look pretty, or was it some other meaning? We may never know, I mean, they are all dead, those people and the creatures that were in the shells, not that they could talk, and I love to speculate. [SQUIRREL]

Did men wear them to indicate the number of animals they killed. Did women wear them to demonstrate the number of men they conquered. :) Did the leader of the group wear them as an indication of his/her leadership?

I’m stopping here for now, hopefully this was some fun-fact-for-thought moments for you.

Hint for next week: Finger guards were worn by the aristocracy in China, as a symbol of their absolute exemption from any sort of manual labor.

Now – go make something . . . even if it’s trouble.
(1) http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/adornment
(2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adornment
(3) http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/06/060622-jewelry.html

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It’s March!

Birthstone: Aquamarine   Astrological signs: Pisces and Aries

Aquamarine (aqua) is a Beryl, along with emerald.  Most usually found in Brazil, it is often blue to blue green in color.  It’s clarity and closeness to blue in color, makes it more valuable. Greenish ones don’t sell for as much.  I’ve always viewed the purchase of stones as a purely ‘eye of the beholder thing’.  The true investment in a gemstone is how you feel when you own it.

Stories of old, reference the stone as the ‘sea stone’ and it has long been considered the lucky stone for the sailor.

There is no lab grown aqua equivalent and so, from a metaphysical standpoint, a simulant would not be valuable energetically.

There are a few ideas on the uses of aqua, magykly/spiritually/energetically. Some believe it to be a throat chakra stone and valuable for arthritis .  I was taught that aqua is a meditation stone and beneficial for clarity and calming the nerves. It has always worked well for me.

For our Pisces friends: yellow sapphire, topaz, red coral and pearl are your “lucky gems”. On the heels of the latest retrograde, I’d recommend working with a blue topaz or an aqua.

For the Aries in the crowd: red coral, carnelian, pearl, yellow sapphire, golden topaz and garnet are your “lucky gems” Similarly for Pisces I recommend aqua, and yellow sapphire – rooted in the winds is also excellent for both signs.

Ultimately, as always, I say, have what you love and what resonates for you.  While stones/crystals often have a connection to some energies, they can be cleansed and charged for what is important to you :).

A quick word about lab grown sapphire:  You know I use it often. I am mindful of where my stones come from and I am sensitive to energies of turmoil. So remember, lab sapphire and ruby have the same mineral and chemical components as the natural stone. So if a natural yellow sapphire seems crazy expensive to you, consider a lab grown stone and I do have some :).

I saw some pretty aqua’s at this site: Gem Select

Lastly, I have in stock, some natural rough aqua and a few faceted pieces and some really lovely simulated ones.  Let me know if you have an interest – additional pics and pricing by request :)

Much love and light,

Delia

Rough Aqua Simulated Aqua Natural Golden-Yellow Sapphire   Blue Topaz

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We are under-construction…

Hello lovers of lovelies!

Please do not adjust your set. Uh, hmm… I mean computer. We are under construction as I upgrade and update my site. Site will continue to run, Facebook Fan Page is hot and in action, and of course I’m still live at Crafted.

Thank you for your patience as I play and dazzle!

Delia

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